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How to use Windows 10, 7 and 8 file explorer like a pro? Step by step guide

You imagine what would Windows be like without its famous file explorer? Sure would be a real chaos for the user. Since the 90s, the visual file system has accompanied Microsoft's flagship software. Thanks to this, Windows became the best-selling operating system of the moment. It is even before Internet Explorer.

Nowadays we could not conceive any S.O. without similar characteristics. We are so used to using it, it seems natural. But do we use its potential to the fullest?

With the latest updates, very useful tools have been added, which not all users usually take advantage of. Continue reading this post and you will be able to handle Windows file explorer like an expert.

What are the main functions of Windows native file explorer?

Inside the browser window we will notice three different sectors. The side bar, which contains the accesses to the roots of all the files, together with the most used direct links and network connections. At the top we will find a address bar, which indicates the location and container files of each file. In addition to the settings tabs. The largest and most important sector is the browser itself.

With this in mind we are going to know the main functions:

The main one is to manage and order all the files, files and programs that exist on the PC. To do this, it uses other tools that are copy, paste, cut, search, delete and rename.

If you look at it in a more traditional way, works similar to a physical file. If you don't know what it is, you can ask your parents or grandparents if necessary. It was some furniture whose drawers contained cardboard folders (arranged alphabetically) that in turn contained documentation. The functions named above had to be performed manually.

One of the differences between the analog and digital method is established in compression of empty spaces. Many of our files use repeating data, white space is one of them. The system compresses these null elements so that they take up less space on the disk.

Printing from Windows Explorer is another of the great comparative advantages. The system allows us to send certain documents to the printer without opening an application additional. However, we always recommend reviewing the file before doing so.

Steps to use file explorer in Windows 10, 7 and 8 like an expert

Now that we know what the functions of this essential tool are, let's see how to manage it more efficiently. It is important to say that there are several routes to reach the same end.

We recommend that you try each one of them and then choose the one that has given you the best result:

Open file explorer

Through the search engine in the Start Menu.

It is a peculiar way of opening it:

  • Press the Start Button (from the Taskbar or with the keyboard).
  • Then type "Explorer".
  • Select File Explorer.

In the Task Bar

Default, the icon of a file appears in your main bar:

  • Pressing it will send you to the file explorer.
  • If you do not have this access, use the previous method.
  • Once open, left-click on it in the taskbar.
  • Choose "Pin to Taskbar".

With the Quick Menu

A very easy way to open it:

  • Secondary click on the Windows logo in the taskbar.
  • Choose "File Browser".
  • After this step, a new window will open with Windows Explorer.
  • Quick access to this menu is done by pressing the buttons "Windows + X".

With access to the Start Menu

Within the main menu, on its left side panel, there are five icons. In ascending order Shutdown, Configuration, Images, Documents and User. Take a look at the following:

  • Press "Documents".
  • It will take you to the file of the same name at the root of the main disk.
  • From there you can explore all the files.

Using Task Manager

Open browser from task manager

  • Choose "Task Manager".
  • Go to the menu "Archive".
  • Then "Run new task".
  • Writes Explorer or "Explorer.exe".
  • Press "To accept".

Using Power Shell

It is not a fuel, but rather an intermediate tool between the command console and the regular interface:

  • Enter the main search bar and type "Power Shell".
  • Select the same.
  • A blue window will open, where you must type "Explorer.exe".
  • Doing so will open the browser.

With Cortana

This is the system's voice assistant tool. You need a connected or built-in microphone for laptops:

  • Start Cortana from the task bar.
  • Press the microphone icon.
  • Pronounce "Open Explorer".
  • The program will recognize the command and open Windows Explorer.

Creating a Direct Access

If the previous methods were not enough, We will show you how to create a quick link to the file explorer from the desktop:

  • Right-click on the desktop. Be careful not to do it over any icon.
  • From the drop down menu select "New" and later "Direct access".
  • In the text bar that will appear, write "Explorer.exe".
  • Press "Following" and name this new access.
  • Press "Finalize" and you will see a new icon on the desktop.

With the Run tool

It may happen that the Windows Explorer task stops working due to a system problem. When this happens the taskbar will disappear. Don't be alarmed, the latest updates allow you to automatically restart your browser. But if not, do these steps.

  • Open the Run box, with access Windows + R.
  • Writes "Explorer.exe"

Find a File

When we buy a new computer, or if we format the one we already had, it is easy to find the files and files, since they are very few. But over time, our album inflates with content. For this reason the browser search service is essential.

To perform a search correctly follow these steps:

  • Open the file explorer in any of the ways that we show you.
  • In the upper right corner you will find a bar with the word "Search".
  • Write on it what you want to find. It can be the file or file name. You don't have to write the extension or the word in its entirety.
  • The system will start the search immediately. It is not necessary to write the entire name or extension. The results will be displayed along with their location and modification date.
  • Quick access to the search bar within the browser is done using the keys "Ctrl + F".
  • You can speed up the search by selecting the file or disk where you think the result is located.

Customize Quick Access Bar

This section within the browser was added in the latest versions of Windows. Show the most used filesIn addition, the accesses to Desktop, Downloads, Documents and Images are anchored. Luckily this list can be modified. Doing it is easy.

Follow these directions:

If you wish remove list any of these accesses.

  • Press the right button on it.
  • Choose "Unpin from Quick Access" (if included with a needle pin). OR "Remove from Quick Access" (if it is a recommended file).

For create one do the following.

  • Locates the file you want to pin.
  • Drag it (from the window or from the address bar) to the menu in question.
  • Make sure you don't let go inside another file. This will only copy it to this one.

List of the best alternative external file explorers to Windows

List of the best alternative external file explorers to Windows

That is why we choose five alternatives:

FAR Manager

For users who long for the Old MS-DOS (or maybe you don't like using the mouse). It is an old interface browser that works on current versions of Windows. To move between files you must use the indicated keys. It also has many of the functions of current browsers.

Download FAR Manager Windows


It has a comparative advantage with other tools. Has the ability to read discs with systems ext (ext2, 3 and 4), in addition to Fat32 and NTFS usual. It is not a minor detail, since these types of discs could be opened only with S.O. Linux

Download Ext2explore Windows

Immersive Explorer

Continuing with the nostalgic, this alternative offers an interface to Windows 8.0 version style. If you are a lover of this operating system, this minimalist browser will be to your liking.

Download Immersive Explorer Windows

Total Commander

You can also read discs with System ext2, ext3 and ext4. It is ideal for computers with two operating systems, since any disk can be entered. In addition, it has the rename files and files in a systematic or massive way.

Download Total Commander Windows


If you are lucky enough to manage operating systems from different companies, this tool can be very useful. Being compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux you can use it on all your computers without dramatically changing the interface.

Download MuCommander Windows

Download MuCommander MacOS

Download MuCommander Linux